Jennifer didn’t grow up with people believing in her or having high expectations about her capability, you could even say she was somewhat invisible.
The only time she felt noticed was when she didn’t do well in school. Remembering those days as a child; it was like the day of reckoning whenever her mum assembled her and her siblings before their dad with their report card in their hands. It was a day Jennifer dreaded with all of her being. She could still hear her dad’s shouts echoing in her ear, telling her of how she was a dunce and in summary amount to nothing.
She could still recall how his shouts would make her shrink a little more, with tears running down her cheeks. She wasn’t as strong emotionally as her siblings and they usually did better than she did academically.
So at an early age there were no expectations especially from her dad and as time went by, she believed it subconsciously sank in and she saw herself withdraw from everything.
Her mum didn’t have the time to give extra attention to the child that might need a little more boost or love. Her dad was already too much for her mum to handle as it was.
So Jennifer grew up not believing that she could be the best at anything, she got scared of trying new things, making friends, facing people. She would practically hide when relations or strangers came around. Her brain could not wrap itself around the fact that she had anything to say to these people or that she was good enough to be around them.
Timid does not begin to explain how she was.
The problem about Nigerian’s, is that instead of seeing a child, I mean actually seeing the child and recognizing the challenges that child faces, they come up with nicknames and make fun of that child, telling the child how weird and strange and different he/she is. Making such a child feel worse and withdraw even more.
Recalling the nicknames she was given, broke her heart a bit especially when they came from loved ones, persons she was supposed to trust, look up to, and expect to protect her. It baffled her how in her own home she felt so much like a stranger.
There was no safe haven, not at home, not in school, not in church, no body bothered to reach out and help her… her mind screamed for help, she wanted to be bold like her friends and siblings but she didn’t know how.
She remembered finding a bit a of a safe haven, it was funny though because a safe haven is supposed to be a secret place but hers was public. It was their dining table; she would hide under when visitors came and pretend that she couldn’t see them.
soon she resumed high school. She was so frightened, so many strange faces, how was she going to start up a conversation, how was she going to make friends she thought to herself.
The years she spent at that high school was a struggle, yes she eventually made a few friends, but she couldn’t shake the constant feeling that she needed them more than they needed her, but all grown up now it was more of the fact that they just couldn’t understand her or even know how to relate with her
Moving on to a new school, to her mum it was for financial reasons, but God knows till today Jennifer remains forever grateful that she changed school, finishing in New day high school would have destroyed and crushed whatever self esteem she had left and then she wouldn’t have met, that one true friend who God used to help her break out.
She could recall the first time they met, it was in early 1996, she was so scared resuming at the middle of the session and all. She remembered how jane used to come to her class upstairs for a course they did together. They eventually started talking and that was how a wonderful friendship started.
Jane wasn’t the boldest or sharpest friend Jennifer had, but what stood her apart from others was how patient Jane was with her, how Jane would never leave her to be alone even if she would have had a better time with others, how Jane wouldn’t let her feel comfortable in her shell, how Jane would push and push even when some of the things she said in the bid to push her out of her shell were hurtful, Jennifer began to see progress.
Jennifer saw herself talking more, talking to the opposite sex, teachers and even doing better academically, to the extent that classmates looked up to her for explanations.
She remembered how one day both of them were gisting and Jane was talking about the fact that Jennifer had become so bold, that she Jane was now the shy one
And as time went by, Jennifer was no longer scared of people, she could talk in front of a crowd, she was no longer timid.
This was all because one person chose to believe in her, choose to encourage her, choose to walk with her through her fears, chose to encourage her with words. Sometimes as she reflects back, Jennifer can’t help but wonder what would have happened to her if she hadn’t changed school. Truth be told at the point where she was before she changed school she was so unhappy, likely depressed that she might have even contemplated suicide.
Thank God for Jennifer. The saddest thing is that not every child is as lucky as Jennifer. Many have been taken advantage of or worse lost their lives because of how BROKEN and timid WORDS made them
I believe Society still does not understand how fragile children are, if words can affect us adults who are somewhat emotionally and mentally matured then imagine the damage our words can do to that little boy or girl, who is constantly told he/she would amount to nothing or is useless or dumb. It’s just like how from infancy you start calling your child by his or her name and as he/she grows up and constantly hears that name the brain gets accustomed to it and the child begins to believe that’s who and what he is. Same applies with our hurtful and crushing words.
The earlier we realize how powerful our words are, the better and the more productive our children, spouse, siblings, friends etc will all become.
Nobody reaches his or her full potential in a negative environment.
My thoughts today: what are your thoughts?
• What are your confessions?
• What do you say to others
• When you are so upset or irritated by that person, what words come out of your mouth?
Even the bible talks about the fact that the power of life and death are in the tongue.
Do you really want that person to lose his or her faith, or even lose his/her life before you understand how powerful words are?
Something I got to realize months back is the fact that the things we hear or watch have a way of sticking subconsciously. You might not know that the brain is registering what is being heard until years or months later when you blunt out something, or begin to act in a particular way contrary to your usual self and you begin to wonder how it all came about. It’s not farfetched; it’s the things we feed our selves or let others feed us we eventually manifest.
I would say stop! Stop!! Stop! Don’t be so hateful or negative.
Be patient with yourself and with others
Build yourself and others with the words of your mouth.
Learn to control your anger.
Stay away from negative people, they sure can be contagious
Recognize that child who needs an extra boost, love and care and help him/her out
Parents: we should learn to understand our children, and know what works for each of them.
Lastly we are all fearfully made, we are all amazing, we are all unique recognize this and appreciate God rather than pull people than
……Stay Beautiful Always…